I’m having a weapy lonely day today. It happens to everyone once in a while no matter how many loved ones you have around you. Sometimes it’s very hard to see all my friends with family around them. I am not milking sympathy here, but I have no family, its just the way it is. Today would have been my Mothers 85th birthday.
My Mother and I in 1996 after I lost 200 pounds.
She has been gone 15 years. We were very close, in fact, we had a not-so-healthy emotional dependance on each other. When she died, I was lost. She was the glue that kept everyone together, so I tried to pick up where she left off, but I just couldn’t. I came across as controlling and failed miserably. No one can replace another, no matter how we try.
In my past, I use to try to shove food in those lonely places. If I made something decatant and lots of it, I could eat it and shove the loneliness way down. That would put me in a food coma, and I could just fall asleep without feeling anything. Loneliness is not the only catalyst for emotional eating. Insecurity, self doubt, fear and anxiety can be, as well. It does not even need to be a negative emotion, It could be a means of celebrating, or feel relief, or nurturing. I always want to eat after I have been to the doctor, take a test, or anything that brings anxiety. Food has always been a reward.
I grew up in a deeply Christian home. I am grateful for the heritage I have. Very conservative Scandinavian people don’t express emotions very well, High or low. That combined with the Fundamental Christian religion I grew up with, there were limits on what kind of recreational activity I was allowed to do. NO movies, dancing, smoking, drinking, cursing or playing cards. EVER! This was kind of rigid for a teenager. Some of it was good clean living, many standards I still live by. But it sure left me curious how the other side lived, of which I sometimes rebelled. It also left me very bored at times. Food filled in all of those empty places.
Good Christian people know how to eat. We have to, we don’t have anything else we can do with each other. All those church pot lucks will prove it. We are good cooks, and many a church cookbooks will prove that. My family was not athletic so sports were out. Every event focused on food. We would have huge family dinners. HUGE, meaning LOTS of food. The woman would clean up after a big meal, and a few hours later we would make a lunch before company left, regardless how full we still were. I can remember sitting in the living room with family, on a Sunday afternoon bored to death with the polite conversation that seemed to go on for hours.
In my current physical state, although I am feeling better everyday, I am still living a life of isolation. I am gradualy walking out of that past life, but I still have days when the urge to use food to rescue me is overwhelming. Even though I have walked through most of my emotional issues with food. I know how all of them trigger my deep craving to use food to abuse myself, I still struggle. Knowing what triggers a feeling is good, but it does not dissipate the urge. An urge, is simply an urge. Once recognized our amazing brains have the power to stop them. Whatever created the urge, is not what makes us behave a certain way. its the URGE that drives the behavior. Webster describes an urge as:
: to ask people to do or support (something) in a way that shows that you believe it is very important
: to try to persuade (someone) in a serious way to do something
Notice it says to TRY, to ask, not to force. We still have the choice to act on our urges. So next time you have an urge, remember its only an urge, you have control over how an urge will affect your life. We are not at the mercy of our urges, no matter where they came from. We are responsible for our own actions. In a world that likes to blame others for our bad behavior, remember only you are the boss of you!
………later this afternoon…….
I was chatting with a friend on the phone telling her I was having a lonely day. I said it was the loneliness that is hard, not being alone. There is a difference. I am by nature pretty independent, and embrace my alone time. But I am feeling loneliness today. Loneliness for past loved ones and friends I have not seen in a while. I believe we have to learn to be alone and content before we can fully nurture healthy relationships. Have a good day!